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Update on the SWP Position Paper

56 organisations and 201 individuals call for the importance of water for everyone worldwide

The SWP Position Paper

Together with its members and partners, the Swiss Water Partnership has submitted a joint position paper linked to the public consultation for the Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2021 – 2024: SWP Position Paper on Water. Its major demands are:

The position paper was endorsed by 56 organisations, of which 24 are SWP member organisations, and by 201 individuals, almost all working in the water and sanitation sector. More than two-thirds of the organisations and individuals have stated that their work is related to the Swiss Development cooperation.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the supporting organisations and individuals. This has been a huge success for emphasizing the importance of water for everyone!

Not only the fact that Switzerland is not immune against water stress due to its dependence on water for consumption and for each living being, but also due to its strong advocacy for water becoming a dedicated SDG and a human right over years show the importance of water for Switzerland and the necessity for coherence in its commitment:

82% of Switzerland’s water footprint is produced outside of Switzerland. This means that most of the water required to produce all the goods and services consumed in our country comes from abroad. Therefore, Switzerland has a shared responsibility in respect of sustainable water management on a global level.

Water needs to be included for all dimensions of sustainable development and for all regions as it is one of the most essential and strategic resources for global social well-being, economic development, the maintenance of ecosystem services and is directly linked to peace and security.

It is a dedicated human right and SDG, that Switzerland has been advocating for on the international agenda. This recognition in relation to water and sanitation has been at the heart of Switzerland’s strategy in the national and international cooperation for years. Thus, Switzerland among its partners has committed to ensure universal access to safely managed water and sanitation for all humans. The successes to improve the access to basic services that Switzerland has achieved worldwide are only a first step. It is coherent and consistent to continue and leverage this Swiss investment.

In this regard, SWP encourages the commitment to manage the entire water cycle, including its economic, peace and governance dimension across regions. At the same time, cooperation with all stakeholders among all water-dependent sectors is necessary for achieving a systemic change towards sustainable management of water resources. It must continuously be at the centre of Switzerland’s approach to humanitarian aid and development cooperation: Only the holistic consideration of the entire water cycle, in cooperation with all partners, has the potential to contribute to an improved health, food security and ultimately to sustainable economic growth, peace and security, which will give a perspective to the local population, with which Switzerland has established partnerships.

Switzerland has an interest and the responsibility in contributing to solving global water problems, as it has a direct and positive impact on our economy, our environment and, above all, on our well-being: Contributing to solving water problems has a direct and positive impact on the life of the people worldwide as well as in Switzerland.

Find more specific arguments on the importance of water on Page 9 of the SWP Position Paper.

> Access this blog post as PDF HERE.



The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Human Security Division (HSD) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), together with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), have been working for several months on the draft Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2021–24 (DE, FR, IT). This process began in summer 2018 and will continue until the draft is adopted by the Federal Council and by Parliament in 2020.

The FDFA and the EAER have for the first time decided to launch an optional public consultation (DE, FR, IT) in order to gather input from the cantons, political parties, umbrella associations and other stakeholders involved in Switzerland’s international cooperation. The consultation has been open until 23 August 2019.

All responses to the Public Consultation regarding the Dispatch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation (2021-2024) were made available by the Federal Chancellery.

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